First module of my CIPD Level 7 Diploma – Done! #ICSRealStories

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Wowsers what a few weeks it has been! Apologies for the quiet time, but I quickly realised that I am nearly halfway through my CIPD Level 7 Diploma and everything has started to happen at once, both in my personal and professional life. This has lead me to take some tough decisions such as not participating within my local CIPD branch as much as I’d like, I’m also not exercising as much as I’d like or reading as much as I usually do; but I’m keeping in mind how important this is to me and why all the hard will be worth it in the end.

I’m not going to lie, these past few weeks have really tested my ability to juggle everything and I needed to take some time to re-proritise my extensive list so I have set myself a deadline, to complete my Level 7 Diploma by October; that’s one research project and two exams to complete; three modules in total. I can do this!

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Thinking of studying a CIPD qualification? Find the one that’s right for you #ICSRealStories

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When I started my study journey all those years ago, I had no idea how much choice there would be when it came to CIPD qualifications. If you are thinking of starting your journey, or not sure on the next steps, then this post may help clear up the confusion that often comes when trying to decide your next development move.

If you are looking for a long and successful career within HR, then a CIPD qualification is an essential part of your CV, as some organisations seek them as a requirement for some roles, and with competition for HR positions increasing, employers like to seeĀ a candidate who is ambitious and motivated, especially one who shows initiative to develop their skills independently.

But with so many options, how do you possibly choose the right option for you? Having almost finished my qualifications, I wanted to share my experience to help others decide what CIPD qualification is the right route for them.

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CIPD MAP Student Conference 2018 #CIPD18Students

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of speaking at this years’ CIPD Student Conference at Aston University in Birmingham, where the theme was “develop yourself, develop your HR career”.

The day was incredibly inspiring and it was fantastic to see so many people from all different career backgrounds, getting excited about the future of their careers.

The day was full of fantastic speakers, Ian Turner from Specsavers gave an overview on his career but also why HR should focus upon culture, this was supported by a staggering figure that 68% of employees do not feel that their business is actively supporting a positive culture. This is an opportunity for HR to really add value where it really matters.

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How to keep motivated when distance learning #ICSRealStories

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I’m into month two of my distance learning CIPD journey with ICS learn and when I speak about my progress to colleagues and friends, they often say that they wouldn’t have to discipline to undertake a distance learning course; it is a lot of additional responsibility but if you are aiming to reach those career goals, then further study is essential.

Whilst distance learning is convenient and adaptable to our lifestyles, it teaches you a lot, except how to stay motivated! This is completely an individual quality that needs to be developed in order to stay focused and achieve the qualification.

I have adopted a positive approach to my CIPD studies level 7 studies by ensuring that I have everything I need to hand, I find that there is nothing worse of getting into the throws of your assignments and having to stop as your have forgotten something! I thought it may be useful to share my top tips for keeping focused while distance learning.

Have everything you need to hand

Make sure you have all of your equipment to hand, I have my iPad for my virtual bookshelf and use my laptop to keep track of how far I need to read, this stops me from getting ahead of myself and allows me to capture all the information I need.

Take regular breaks

Taking a 5 minute break each hour helps your eyes rest and to give your body a well earned stretch, this helps keep the mind fresh and doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed with information. I often use this time to reflect upon what I have learnt and how it translates into my working life.

Map your progress

I have a large wall calendar above my desk which helps me to keep on top of things and so I can see how far I have come in my studies. This helps me to keep the end goal in sight and understand how flexible I can be on weeks where I have commitments.

Get a different perspective

I utilise my network a lot when it comes to my studies, so I attend HR Hour every week on Twitter which gives so many different points of view which helps me to understand arguments for and against certain processes. It also helps if you need further information on a particular subject; reading certain HR blogs and asking questions on the CIPD forum on LinkedIn is also a great place to get inspiration and support for the learning journey.

Reward yourself

When an assignment is graded, take time to reward yourself for a job well done, it’s not easy being motivated but a little treat can go a long way to encourage the next step on the learning journey.

Take time out

Just because I’m studying doesn’t mean there isn’t any time for fun! I make time to see friends and family, it helps clear the mind and helps to relieve any stress. I recently spent the day with friends by having a walk around Burghley House and it was great to be in the fresh air with and having a good catch up.

 

Whatever stage you are at with your learning journey, keep focused, stay organised and always keep the end goal in sight, you will get there and it’ll be worth it!

Psst! Pass it on… what social media can do for your HR career

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Last year I blogged about how important the relationship between HR and Marketing is and more recently a few people have asked me “how do I do it?” so I thought a quick blog about the benefits of creating a personal brand.

You often hear the phrase “people don’t buy a product, they buy from people they like” and this may be true, but the future outlook on not only job applications but also upon our abilities to network effectively are changing due to the influence of social media.

Love it or hate it, we tend to have a very marmite view when it comes to social media, but it is widely known that as the world of work evolves, social media is now an essential business tool and it can make or break a brand.

Branding is a mix of how you present yourself, what information you can offer other professionals, learning and understanding how others see you. It is important to be aware of how you are viewed as it can mean all the difference when going for that dream role or if you want to be taken more seriously.

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